Amgen buys Onyx for $10.4 billion

Medical technology pioneer Amgen, which has major operations at Cambridge Science Park in the UK, is to pay $10.4 billion for San Francisco company Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc – an increasingly influential player in cancer.

Onyx develops and commercialises innovative therapies for improving the lives of people with cancer and has an important and growing multiple myeloma franchise.

Its Kyprolis® (carfilzomib) product for injection is already approved in the US. Onyx also has three partnered oncology assets: Nexavar® (sorafenib) tablets (an Onyx and Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Inc. compound), Stivarga® (regorafenib) tablets (a Bayer compound), and palbociclib (a Pfizer, Inc. compound).

The company has further multiple oncology compounds in various stages of clinical development.

Amgen intends to effect the deal through a tender offer and expects to close at the beginning of the fourth quarter.

Chairman and CEO Robert Bradway said: “We believe that Amgen is ideally suited to realise the full potential of Onyx’s portfolio and pipeline for the benefit of physicians and patients. Amgen has a unique opportunity to add value to Kyprolis, a product which is at an early and promising stage of its launch.”

Onyx holds global rights to Kyprolis, excluding Japan. Kyprolis has an orphan drug designation in the US with exclusivity until July 2019 and patents in the US which extend until at least 2025.

Amgen intends to leverage its oncology capabilities and experience to support Onyx’s clinical development programs and maximize Kyprolis’ potential in the US and the rest of the world.

The acquisition also adds to Amgen’s robust late-stage pipeline. This includes nine innovative products for which registration-enabling data are anticipated by 2016. Four of these are innovative, first-in class oncology products. Onyx’s pipeline complements Amgen’s growing oncology portfolio.

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